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Post-Sweeps Syndication Ratings Down

With November sweeps completed and the holiday season ramping up, syndicated declined by approximately 1,896,000 households in the week ending Dec. 7 compared to the week before.

Buena Vista’s Live with Regis& Kelly was the only one of the 15 talk shows to post gains for the week, hitting a 3.9 rating, up 5% week-to-week and 18% year-to-year. Twelve talkers were down and two were flat. After having her biggest sweeps in five years, King World’s Oprah was down 13% on the week to 6.7. Dr. Phil, which also had a high-rated sweeps, slipped 5% to 5.3.

Nine of the top ten sitcoms held steady, although none were up year-to-year. Sony’s Seinfeld gained 14% from the week before to a 6.5, a new season high. Warner Bros.’ Friends was up 10% to 6.4. King World’s Everybody Loves Raymond climbed 7% to 5.9. Warner Bros.’ Will & Grace surged 15% to 3.9.

The top game shows turned in mixed performances. King World’s Wheel of Fortune, at 9.3, and Jeopardy!,at 7.6, were up 2% and 6% respectively. Buena Vista’s Who Wants To Be A Millionaire was unchanged at 3.6. King World’s Hollywood Squares slid 13% to 2.1. Sony’s Pyramid fell 5% to 2.0. And Tribune’s Family Feud dropped 17% to 1.9.

On the weekend, coverage of college football on ABC and CBS hurt some shows and helped others. Paramount’s ET Weekend was the number-one weekly hour despite being preempted in 21 markets, including three of the top five. It was down 21% to 3.1, but still up a full 72% over last year.

NBC Enterprises’ Access Hollywood Weekend took second place with a 35% increase to 2.7, up 29% from last year. NBC/MGM’s Stargate-SG1 in third place jumped 14% to 2.5, up 4% year to year. In eighth place, Twentieth’s rookie Angel was up 29% to 1.8.